The Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute (OFAI) offers adult artists and Oklahoma educators the opportunity to participate in arts workshops in the visual, literary, and performing arts including workshops designed specifically for educators seeking continuing education to enhance the classroom environment through the arts. These all-inclusive, four-day retreats will be held at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center in the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma this October. Taught by nationally renowned artists, workshops are offered for all skill levels, from beginners to professional artists. Shawnee public school educators and administrators are eligible for full scholarships covering the cost of attendance thanks to the Avedis Foundation and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

OFAI will take place October 3-6 and 10-13, and enrollment is now open to Shawnee public educators. Participants can choose from workshops in writing, photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, musical theater, elementary music, and more; workshops designed for educators are also offered. Participants spend their days honing their craft under the guidance of nationally recognized faculty artists.

This year’s faculty includes Suzi Pond, award-winning digital journalist, producer, and storyteller. Pond spent years serving as Chief Storyteller at United Way of Greater Portland, creating audio and video stories aimed at engaging the community, and has since started two multimedia storytelling companies. Participants in her workshop, Introduction to Audio Storytelling, will learn technological and methodological basics in creating compelling stories including how to identify, capture, and structure a story.

Included among this year’s workshops designed especially for educators is Social and Emotional Learning and the Arts with Miko Lee, Executive Director of Youth in Arts in San Rafael, California. In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore arts strategies and techniques for addressing social-emotional learning goals with their students. Participants will receive arts-based resources and practical skills for developing and fostering communication and collaboration in the classroom.

A full list of workshops is available at oaiquartz.org. Enrollment opens statewide for educators on August 19. However, spots are available for Shawnee public educators to enroll now. Educators should contact OAI at 405.605.7500 to receive early registration.

In addition to learning about their chosen art form, participants may attend presentations by faculty artists in a variety of artistic disciplines. In the evenings, they can take advantage of open studio time, attend an elective activity, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful Quartz Mountain environment. Educators receive 18 hours of professional development credit.

The Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center is an ideal location for arts immersion. With newly renovated studio classrooms, the resort offers the amenities and comforts of a fine hotel inside a scenic state park. OFAI is an all-inclusive experience, with all meals and lodging included with tuition.

The Oklahoma Arts Institute is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1977, with a mission to provide exceptional multidisciplinary arts experiences that develop individual talent and inspire a lifelong passion for the arts. In addition to the Fall Arts Institute, OAI administers a 2-week residential arts academy for high school students every June.